Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Fiancé’s Mother Still Pays His Bills”

Love or money

I have been with my boyfriend almost two years now and just got recently engaged. Between us we have three children. My two girls live with us and his son lives out of state. Our family life is almost perfect and we get along great for the most part. Blending our families has almost been the easiest part. Our children get along well with each other. The one huge problem we do have though is money. I make quite a bit more money then he does. Currently, he is in school in the medical field and will not be done with his degree for another 18 months. In the meantime, he works about 37 hours a week as a cook making about $10 an hour.

We were in a long distance relationship when we first starting dating. So, after we decided for him to move here, I knew there would be some financial strain on the relationship but never imagined it would be as bad as it has been. When he first got here, we were not engaged. He went four months without working and I paid for everything, from his gas to all his necessities. After that four-month period I made it very clear that I could no longer support him and that he would have to get a job. He did get a job, but he continues to not pay for anything but his personal expenses. I pay the mortgage and all of the household bills. I pay for all of our vacations, all of our food, groceries, and for the home and so on.

We have had many fights and have broken up a few times over this. He always tells me he will change and work more to be able to help out around the house and with the kids. At home he does do the majority of the cooking, but that is it. I do 90% of the house work and work close to 50 hours a week. I usually do not even get home until 7 pm or later during the week. Finally, I just gave him three bills to pay equaling $150 a month. He paid them for two months and started helping out more. Then he proposed and I accepted his proposal because I really thought he was truly trying and making a commitment to me and the kids that he would be the man we needed him to be.

Right after that everything went downhill again. We are right back in the same spot where he takes no responsiblities in life. He has no personal bills and the ones he does have his mother still pays (he is 32 and I am 35, by the way). He continues to tell me that he will change – I just need to give him one more chance.

My girls love him and so do I but I feel like I have made a huge mistake saying yes to his marriage proposal. Now everyone knows we are supposed to get married next year, and I don’t know what my kids will say if I break off the engagement and move on. – Inconvenient Proposal

Instead of imagining what they would say if you break off the engagement, imagine what your girls would say if you actually married a deadbeat – and I’m sorry, but that’s what I call a 32-year-old father who is capable of supporting himself and his family and chooses not to – and let him sponge off you for the rest of their childhoods. You may have made a mistake accepting his proposal, but that doesn’t mean you have to make the mistake of marrying him. He has shown you who he is and you can’t afford to give him “one more chance” to show you something different. You have children to think about and they deserve better. YOU deserve better. Please MOA and spend your time and money and love raising your daughters and not a grown man who is taking advantage of you.

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

230 comments… add one
  • avatar

    SasLinna August 6, 2013, 9:07 am

    WWS! LW, you don’t have to do this. You make it sounds like you’re forced to pay the bills for all of you & make a commitment to this man, but it’s up to you. Next year is still far away, more than enough time to break off this engagement.

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  • avatar

    artsygirl August 6, 2013, 9:11 am

    Just because he is a nice guy does not mean he is a good partner. If you feel you really have to give him one last chance – I would suggest you go to a financial planner and sit down with the budget. Maybe open up a joint account which you both put in a percentage of your paychecks which will go to pay bills, purchase groceries, etc. Also, I would make up a chores chart and designate chores for each member of the family i.e. if he cooks dinner you and the girls clean the dishes. He does the laundry and you do the vacuuming, etc. As my grandmother always said ‘begin as you mean to go on’

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    • avatar

      MMcG August 6, 2013, 10:47 am

      I would not allow this manchild access to any of the LW’s funds in a joint account… no freakin way.

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    • avatar

      Jeff August 12, 2013, 5:23 pm

      I’m a guy and I am NOT believing this one last chance stuff is being mentioned. This dude is a LOSER and has demonstrated it over and over and over again. Sit down with a budget with a financial planner and a guy who makes $10/hr? WHY? So the financial planner can laugh at you? This idea is just nuts.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle August 6, 2013, 9:13 am

    WWS all the way. LW, don’t do this to yourself— he may be a nice guy who’s good with your kids, but it looks like he wants somebody to replace his mother. (Yeahh, sorry to go with the “replacement mommy” stereotype), but for reals. This isn’t a good situation, you’re clearly unhappy with the status quo, & it doesn’t look like he’ll ever change. Move on before you actually marry the guy, & ~really~ begin regretting your decisions.

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  • avatar

    bethany August 6, 2013, 9:23 am

    Was there even a question there?

    Break off the engagement and tell him to move out. Your girls will get over it, and people who know you’re engaged will get over it, too. Just think about how much more difficult breaking up with him will be IF you get married. Divorce is harder and way more costly than breaking up now. Plus, if you marry him, he might be entitled to some sort of spousal support if you divorce.

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    • avatar

      bethany August 6, 2013, 11:09 am

      Oh, and if you’re sick of supporting him now, please realize that if he can’t support himself, I guarantee he’s not saving any money for retirement. Get ready to support him until he dies, assuming you don’t divorce before then.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 9:25 am

    Ugh, moochy deadbeats are the worst.

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  • katie

    katie August 6, 2013, 9:27 am

    im just confused. why did you move in with your boyfriend without first going over who was paying for what, who makes what, when paychecks come in, where he was going to work, ect? why didnt you talk about the logistics of moving in together? and then why would you accept a proposal from someone who you cant talk about logistics with and who then lets you down every time you do try to work on them?

    i mean, your boyfriend doesnt sound like a real winner, but neither do you… how can you be so careless about your life, and your kids life? you are letting all this happen- he isnt so much doing all this stuff TO you, you are letting it happen. you need to get a handle on everything, and if he wont do that with you, then you need to leave him, period. people who cant handle the day to day handling of money are not good people to legally tie yourself to…

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle August 6, 2013, 9:33 am

      Yeah, the long distance to co-habititation thing confused me, too. If you’re gonna do that, you have to TALK about shit like finances.

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    • avatar

      Bunnycsp August 6, 2013, 10:06 am

      In the LW’s defense, it looks like he quit his job and moved for her so they could be together. So obviously at the beginning, the both knew he couldn’t contribute until he got a job.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. August 6, 2013, 10:34 am

        Yeah, but then he waited around for four months to get a job, and only did it when she told him she couldn’t support him. He should have started looking before he moved, and every day since then.

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp August 6, 2013, 11:05 am

        You are right. But I think they probably had a conversation saying, “I will leave my job and then will find one close.” and she trusted that as truth.

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      • katie

        katie August 6, 2013, 11:23 am

        but if that was the case then there wouldnt be all this resentment from the LW, because she would have signed up willingly for that arrangement and been happy to contribute until he got a job….

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      • avatar

        Liquid Luck August 6, 2013, 2:04 pm

        Eh, people say things they don’t mean (or agree to things they THINK they mean until it actually happens) all the time. Maybe she assumed he’d take the first job he could find, and he assumed she’d give him time to find something equivalent to the job he left. She could easily resent him for not understanding that what she said and what she really meant could be interpreted differently.

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 11:30 am

        She says that after 4 months she told him he had to get a job, so I doubt she was prepared for him to be without one for so long.

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp August 6, 2013, 12:36 pm

        Right, but Katie said “why didn’t they talk about it before”. I think the LW had those conversations before and things didn’t work out as planned.

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 1:23 pm

        I assumed they either didn’t talk about it, or didn’t talk about it well enough to actually get across each other’s expectations. Because she says after 4 months, she made it clear that she had to get a job. Like, he wasn’t clear on that before? But yes, things definitely didn’t work out like either of them planned.

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  • avatar

    Scooze August 6, 2013, 9:30 am

    You cannot change anyone but yourself. If this is the life you want, stay with him. If not, move on. It’s that simple.

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  • avatar

    Nadine August 6, 2013, 9:40 am

    He wont change. I’m sure he means well, but if he doesnt know enough to pay his own way at the age of 32, then he never will quite get it. I mean, what has he been doing for the last ten years if not learning how to be an adult??
    You have daughters. Show them how to choose well.

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  • Copa

    Copa August 6, 2013, 9:40 am

    WWS. You don’t have to marry him. It’s easier to call of an engagement than it is to get a divorce a few years down the road when you’re even more miserable.

    Also, I gotta say — I don’t think it was very responsible to close the distance on the relationship without having a more concrete plan in place. I “get” that it’s often easier to find a job once you’re in a city, but I do think the finances should’ve been discussed beforehand. Don’t get me wrong — I still think this guy sounds like an irresponsible mooch — but you had more of a role in how this all turned out than you’re taking credit for.

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay August 6, 2013, 10:04 am

    I think you’d be better off thinking about what the kids would say if you get married to a guy who mooches off you all the time. Someone who is in school who can’t pay for their expenses should take out a loan, and if they can’t, they shouldn’t be in school. I don’t know a single person who makes their SO pay for their shit while they’re in school. It blows my mind that you’ve been his ATM and his maid for all this time and only now have decided that it might not be OK.

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    • avatar

      MMcG August 6, 2013, 10:49 am

      It blows my mind that you’ve been his ATM and his maid for all this time and only now have decided that it might not be OK.

      WORD!

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  • avatar

    lissa August 6, 2013, 10:09 am

    LW – I am very interested in WHY he’s not paying the bills he promised to pay. When you ask him for his reasoning for why he has reverted to shirking his financial responsibilities, what does he say? I think that a person with a legitimate reason (there was some recent unexpected large expense, something extra regarding child support for his son – which I assume he is paying – etc.) often deserves a different course of action than one who can’t really account for where the money went. I think that the issue you’re struggling with is successfully distinguishing between the chronic deadbeat and the guy going through an exceptionally (but temporary) tough time, and I think the key is in how he explains himself to you when ask. The wishy-washy answers give ’em away ever time.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. August 6, 2013, 10:30 am

    This guy is a momma’s boy who never plans to grow up. Why should he? He’s got everything pretty well set for himself. I would bet he’s not supporting his son, either. How can he, if he can’t support himself? Momma’s probably paying for that, too. MOA from this boy and get yourself a man who has his shit together.

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  • avatar

    TheOtherOtherMe August 6, 2013, 10:32 am

    Hang on everyone… is this guy really a deadbeat, or simply someone who is struggling financially? He only makes $10 an hour and also presumably pays for school and child support (?) That’s $370 a week to pay for whatever his obligations are, which frankly doesn’t leave a lot left over for household bills or luxuries. My boyfriend is a $12-per-hour chef and has a great deal of difficulty making ends meet. His car keeps breaking down, he has student loans, and gas is REALLY expensive where we live. After paying for all that plus half the rent (we live together), he has NOTHING left over at the end of the week. I have a much better paying job, so yeah, I pay a bigger share of all the other bills (electric, phone, groceries, whatever). I don’t see him as a deadbeat though, just a guy in a low- wage job. Sounds like LW needs to decide if she can live with a guy who’s not her financial equal, which may be what the real problem is. (He should help more around the house though.)

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 10:36 am

      If $10/hr isn’t cutting it, find another job, or a second or third one.

      Also, he keeps the money he makes for himself. Its not like he’s handing over the little he has to help with bills.

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      • avatar

        MMcG August 6, 2013, 10:51 am

        Yeah, the fact that all of his earnings go to his “personal expenses” is complete BS unless that personal expense is child support – and I feel like the LW would have mentioned that. I mean why the fuck are they even going on vacations if one of them can’t contribute to the household in anyway beyond freeloader!?!

        I do think this letter is ripe for a solid revisionist history/here’s all the ways in which my fiance will save the world and is so worth it updates:)

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay August 6, 2013, 1:54 pm

        Well, I do think he’s a deadbeat. But aside from that, we’re giving the LW advice. And it would be seriously irresponsible for her to marry this guy with no proof whatosever that he’s not a deadbeat.

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    • avatar

      Liquid Luck August 6, 2013, 10:57 am

      I was wondering the same thing, and it led to a lot of questions. Does he go to school full time? How much does he pay in child support? Has he looked for other jobs that pay more and isn’t finding anything that would allow him to stay in school while he has it? Is he doing well in school, or is he at risk of failing? Without a degree, is he qualified for a more high-paying job than he has now? Have you laid out a list of all the household chores you do so that he’s aware of just how little he’s contributing? (Seriously, my boyfriend had no idea how much stuff I did around the house while he wasn’t looking and thought that we were pretty equal with chores until I actually made a list and showed it to him). Did he move from an area with more, better jobs to a place with less opportunity to end the LDR?

      Sure, if he’s only going to school part time and barely working, he could probably do more and might just be lazy. But I don’t think it’s as much of a given as everyone else seems to.

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      • avatar

        Liquid Luck August 6, 2013, 11:04 am

        I do think he should at least move out and the LW should call off the engagement though, since she’s clearly not happy. That way he only has to be responsible for himself, and she won’t have to worry about spending money on him. If she wants to move on and find someone who’s financially secure NOW, then she can certainly do that. But if this guy is doing well in school and will be qualified for good jobs in a high-paying market (which medical tech is right now) in less than two years, he doesn’t sound like a deadbeat to me. Sure, he’s not financially prepared to support a family of four, but at least he’s working and trying to get an education so that in the future he could potentially do so. I don’t really see how that makes him a deadbeat. I think the LW was being unrealistic that in his current situation he would immediately be prepared to step into her home with her children and contribute equally across the board, and she needs to reconcile her fantasy life to the reality she’s actually faced with.

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      • katie

        katie August 6, 2013, 11:18 am

        ” I think the LW was being unrealistic that in his current situation he would immediately be prepared to step into her home with her children and contribute equally across the board”

        YES, exactly this. and ill say again, if the LW had gone about money and moving in together the right way, then she would have already known the answer to all of her questions, and to your questions, and none of this would be happening.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:08 am

        It took him 4 months and an ultimatum to get a job…that pays $10/hr.
        That’s why everyone is assuming its a given that he’s a deadbeat.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:10 am

        I’m curious how old his son is, because that would also give you an idea on how long he’s been a deadbeat. It doesn’t take that long to finish a degree. If he had his son 10 years ago, that’s 10 years its taken him to inch closer to even finishing his degree. 10 years to find a job that pays more than minimum wage. 10 years to pay your own bills instead of mommy helping.

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      • katie

        katie August 6, 2013, 11:20 am

        the ultimatuim ill give you, BUT if he is going to school he probably has a schedule to work with that knocks him out of a lot of jobs. and he might live in an area that still has a bad job market

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:22 am

        A responsible adult would not move to an area with a bad job market, especially if he had a son to support, in hopes that everything will magically work out. A responsible adult would’ve lined up a job that fit into his school schedule. This guy is 32 years old. Its kinda blowing my mind all the excuses he’s being provided with here.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle August 6, 2013, 11:27 am

        Yeah, I would say that even if school is interfering with his ability to both 1.) get a good job, & 2.) help around the house ~at all~, then his top priority should’ve been to get his shit together before moving for the LW & getting engaged (same goes for her, though—things should have been talked through before it came to this multiple breakups, broken promises clusterfuck)

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      • katie

        katie August 6, 2013, 11:30 am

        he would if his girlfriend told him it would be fine and she would take care of it.

        all im sayin is that if they had just talked about this, none of it would have happened, and that is on the LW in my opinion, because its her house. if she didnt want him to move there without any job prospects and expect 50/50 for expenses and whatever else she is mad about, that should have been discussed before the moving. THAT is what responsible adults do.

        and also, just because hes 32 doesnt mean he cant go back to college and have all the headaches that come with that. people go to college at all different ages, and when you go to college, or go back, there are certain things that happen. yes, they probably are historically “college kid” excuses, but its the same situation, you know? just because he is older and finally getting his degree, or getting a second one or whatever doesnt mean its any easier or less expensive.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:34 am

        I agree with your second paragraph.

        The third? Not so much. Great that a 32 y/o wants to go back to school. Wonderful! Except that he has other priorities and responsibilities that come before that. He made a choice to go back to school without having his other ducks lined up first. THAT is why I would say he’s not a responsible adult.

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      • katie

        katie August 6, 2013, 11:41 am

        how did he make a choice without having other ducks lined up? im confused about that, because that means that he somehow … coerced ..? the lw into moving in together. and he also coerced his mom into helping him out with expenses? i mean both of those things are fine choices that anyone is allowed to make. if your mother offers to help you out while you back to school, that is a very generous and kind thing. its not a bad thing. and if your girlfriend doesnt care and/or doesnt discuss money with you while she wants you to move in with her with no job lined up while your going to school, thats also a very kind thing. those are valid, real things that people do all the time.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 11:44 am

        Just wanted to say that I agree with you 100%, and I think it’s silly to say that he shouldn’t go to school because he has financial responsibilities. That’s problematic because it’s hard to meet those financial responsibilities in the first place without a college degree. If this is his first time in school, it’s probably a move on his part to become MORE self-sufficient.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:49 am

        Really? If I asked you as a friend whether I should quit my job and go back to school, with no savings in place or plan to pay the bills other than hope my bf can do it until I’m done with school, without ever asking him if he could/would, and keeping in mind I already have a child to support, you would seriously tell me to do that?

        I mean, I understand that in the long run, its better to have a college degree, but that doesn’t mean everyone should just quit their bill paying jobs to do that without making sure you can afford to do so.

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      • katie

        katie August 6, 2013, 11:52 am

        that is the divide between the have and the have-nots in our society. the have’s have the ability, know how, and connections to be able to go to college and get good degrees in timely fashions at the appropriate age, bla bla bla. the have-nots dont. and because they can never quit their job, they never go to college, and the poverty cycle continues.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 11:55 am

        I agree with you on that. But that’s why I’m so mixed on this. The LW really didn’t give us much information on the communication that took place, or perhaps didn’t take place. I suspect that the LW said she was okay with the arrangement for a little while, and the bf understood that to mean a longer time than the LW meant it. I don’t think either of them communicated, but I also don’t think that makes the boyfriend a deadbeat or that he’s done anything wrong.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:55 am

        I’m obviously looking at this situation through my own experiences. I would say I was definitely a Have-Not when I had my kid, had to work full time, and do school full time to make sure I was able to take care of myself and my kid. I didn’t get help from others, so yea, I do think this is bs.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 11:56 am

        @Katie, Very true. There’s never a great time to go back to school, especially when you have kids. And that’s why couples often have to depend on each other for a few years to get through it. Clearly this arrangement isn’t working for the LW, but it’s a completely reasonable situation for adults to be in.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:57 am

        Plus, it seems she was clear in that he needed to find a job stat. It sounds like he didn’t even bother looking for one for 4 months until she forced him to. And when he finally did, he didn’t contribute any money to their shared expenses.

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      • katie

        katie August 6, 2013, 12:05 pm

        i agree TA. this is a reasonable situation, and if the LW is unhappy with it, she has no one to blame but herself! she got herself into this, she agreed to it, she was the one who was not an advocate for her own life to plan ahead, ect. if she wants to end it thats fine, but this is on the LW.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:46 am

        Sure, if you are cool with being a 32 year old parent who is supported by your parent and girlfriend, I guess you’re right, his ducks were lined up…to mooch until he finished school at 34 years old. Its just not something I would call respectable. You’re right though, except that he told his gf he would get a job to help her with bills, and it took 4 months and he doesn’t give her his minimal money to help with the bills. She didn’t say hey come live for free here while you finish school. She said come live here and get a job when you get here.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 12:06 pm

        Yeah I’m shocked at the people defending him. Once you have a kid your job is to support and care for them. It’s pretty suspect that he has a kid living out of state and chose to move to mooch off his girlfriend – if he was going to move anywhere maybe he should have moved to be closer to his kid and get a job there.

        He’s a bum. Bad parents can go fuck themselves.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 12:08 pm

        I’m really surprised too! Glad you agree with me. I’m sure many people would love to be able to go back to school. Its just not possible sometimes though, because you have other priorities…like your KIDS.
        And yea, bizarre this woman would want to be with a man who moved away from his own kid. I wouldn’t even want to be friends with someone like that.

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      • avatar

        MMcG August 6, 2013, 12:09 pm

        I just want to second you lbh… it is lovely to want to go back to school and improve yourself, but that takes planning and effort and I don’t see any of that here. The 4 months he didn’t have a job, was he taking extra classes? And how does one move and then continue to go to school – online degree!?! Then there is even less of an excuse not to have your shit together. Did he start school when he moved in with the LW??

        Plenty of people, single parents even, work their way through school in a more thoughtful and responsible manner than what was described here. That is all. No judgment about society or anything – I mean by all accounts he has a parent still supporting him at 32!!! Some people would kill for that, not continue to take advantage and all more people to the rolls of those that support him (and in LWers case without even her full ok if she had to ultimatum to get the job search going).

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow August 6, 2013, 1:13 pm

        A lot of community colleges have medical programs. He might not even be paying a ton in tuition or going into debt.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ August 6, 2013, 11:11 am

        I’d like to know what his other expenses are and what his school schedule is, too, before I label him a deadbeat mooch. 37 hours/week plus a full (or intense part-time) school load may well equal (or exceed) the LW’s 50 hours per week once study and school work time is included. And, if he is in school, a better or different job may be unworkable, depending on the economy where they live. I’d assume that once he gets his degree, he (a) plans to get a better paying job and (b) plans to contribute more. Maybe not. But until then, if he can’t really change his situation right now and he’s working toward a better future, then I’m not going to label him unfixable.

        That said, the LW is obvioisly unhappy, and she is certainly not obligated to financially support this guy until he gets himself together, gets done with school and gets a better job. I’d suggest she break it off. Or, if she is not ready to do that, she should significantly slow it down and back it up – separate places and all that – and take some time to see if this is just a low point or if it’s going to be a situation where he never gets the degree and never helps carry the finances.

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      • avatar

        j2 August 6, 2013, 11:14 am

        Beat me by one minute!

        (MUST learn to type faster!)

        😉

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:16 am

        We’re talking about a 32 year old man with a son though…not a 21 year old.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ August 6, 2013, 11:31 am

        Right, but his age doesn’t change his school schedule or how it impacts his ability to work certain hours, nor does being 32 and not 21 add additional hours to his day. It is what it is. And, we don’t know why he’s just now going to school. Maybe he was doing something else and realized that it was a dead end, so he decided to go into another, more stable field. Maybe he fucked around for awhile and only recently started trying to get his shit together. I’m not arguing the LW should support this guy – if she doesn’t want to, that’s totally fine – but I’m not going to label him a deadbeat loser based on what is, in my opinion, a very one-sided story that comes from a very emotional place.

        Now, the LW could update with facts that make it clear this guy has other issues, and then I’ll be on the Deadbeat Train, too. I’m just not there yet.

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      • katie

        katie August 6, 2013, 11:35 am

        i agree… talk to cats about how hard going back to college is. it doesnt matter how old or established you are, the problems are all the same.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:37 am

        But you have to be prepared to go back to school. That’s my point. I’d love to go back to school right now and change careers. Sounds awesome! But wait, I’m an adult who has bills to pay and mouths to feed…so I can’t.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ August 6, 2013, 11:47 am

        Again, you don’t know this guy’s situation. Sometimes you can’t plan life out as neatly as you’d like and you have to scramble and make due however you can. Depending on your situation, planning can be a luxury. Plus, we don’t know how he was making his expenses work out before he moved in with the LW, or what his situation was at all. All we do know is that he is in school, the LW was willing to pay his expenses, she finally told him to get a job because the financial burden was more than she expected, he did, and is now working 37 hours a week in addition to going to school. But, she’s still upset because that’s still not enabling him to contribute as much financially as she’d like. Basically, she wants a man who makes more money because she wants an “equal” earner partner, or close to it, and she’s tired of supporting him. I have no problem with that at all. Her life, her choices and her right. But, I don’t think a guy who works nearly full time and is going to school in a good field is a loser, either, even if he’s clearly not the right guy for this LW.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 12:00 pm

        Going back to school at 32 (while being a parent) is a luxury. I don’t need to know this guy’s situation to know that. He can’t afford to support himself while he’s in school. He should’ve found a way to do that before going back to school.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 12:08 pm

        RIGHT. You’re not entitled to go to school. It’s not a right in this country. Going to school is a luxury – that apparently he missed out on while he was busy making kids and not planning his life out.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ August 6, 2013, 1:57 pm

        So it would be better for him to stay stuck in dead end jobs (or no jobs for that matter) instead of taking a financial hit for a few and trying to make a better future. That’s just illogical to me.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ August 6, 2013, 1:57 pm

        *few years.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 2:01 pm

        He can’t afford a financial hit for a few years though. He has a child to care for and he needs to support himself also. Unless and until he saved enough to be able to do that, and go to school, he should stay at a job that pays the bills.
        Its crazy to me that people think anyone, at any time, should go to school. That is illogical to me. Some people simply can’t afford to. Some people have other priorities.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ August 6, 2013, 2:14 pm

        But if he’s facing a future of dead end or dwindling job prospects vs. taking the hit now and having a viable financial future, then the responsible thing is to go to school now, while he’s still relatively young, and make it work. I guess I’m thinking about someone who either never had an education and is working menial jobs or someone who was in one field that is dwindling (manufacturing, etc.) and now finds himself looking at a long life with no real job security unless he changes direction, not someone who on a whim decides to go back to school because they just don’t like what they’re doing now. In my scenario is it not better to bite the bullet now? Particularly since the medical field is relatively hot and he’s likely to get a decent job. Yeah, it’d be nice if life handed everyone the ability to save for everything and everyone had their shit together at 20. But it doesn’t, people don’t and even the best laid plans can get blown to fuck and back. I’m not about to judge this guy for trying to go back to school and get a job in a growing field. That’s definitely in his and his son’s best interest.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 2:28 pm

        I will absolutely judge him for making bad decisions when he’s a PARENT. When you’re only by yourself, fine, go for it. But he has another human life that is depending on him. What if the mother decided she also felt like being a deadbeat? Then what? How nice he has all these women around him supporting his dumb decisions.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 2:37 pm

        I think you maybe are looking at it as a single person and not someone who is responsible for another human being. Maybe? I hear your point, really, and I think its great and makes sense for many, many people. Not for this 32 year old parent.
        And IWanna raises an excellent point. What if mom were doing this too? Should we let little timmy starve or live in a shithole because eventually, several years down the road, after drowning in school debt, timmy’s parents might have finally created a successful career? Maybe timmy’s parents don’t need the Best & Most Successful Career. Maybe they just need a fucking job to pay the bills on their table right now! (and now I’m worked up. sorry miss mj!) This man hasn’t made sure that he can support himself or his child. If he had, he would be able to afford life and school. Its not as impossible as you all would like to think it is. Really.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ August 6, 2013, 4:18 pm

        I think you guys are assuming that he’s not supporting his son while he’s doing this and that his son is suffering. Nowhere in the letter does it say that, and indeed, judging from the blended families comment, it seems like he’s got a good relationship with his son. It’s just as likely that his limited funds go toward child support as it is that he’s just blowing it and counting on the LW to carry his ass. And, honestly, yeah, I absolutely think it is better for this kid’s dad to maybe only be able to financially contribute a shitty amount to his care for a few years if it means more financial stability down the road. I think it’s incredibly short-sighted to think it’s better for this guy to maintain dead-end and low paying jobs forever than to invest in his and, therefore his child’s future, just because he happens to be 32 years old and it’s more of a struggle. It’s not like this guy is going to school in basket weaving. He’s going to end up with a much better job than one that pays $370 a week, less taxes. How is that NOT better in the long run for his kid? And, as for his son’s mom, if later, once this guy is out of school, his son’s mom wants to go back and let dad carry more or all of the financial burden, then she absolutely should, too. That’s what is best for this kid.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 4:23 pm

        You obviously don’t work in family law. How exactly would the mom get him to contribute all of the financial burden? She can’t. Why can’t he work full time and go to school full time? He’s obviously not watching his kid at night since it lives in another state. He might have to work harder than a childless person, but that’s the choice he made when he had a kid.

        And you will never convince me he’s not a shitty parent for not moving to live with his son and be involved in his daily life.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:40 am

        I’d love for cats to chime in here. I assume she probably weighed her options, made sure she could get by with bills and living expenses, looked into financial aid, made sure she had a place to live, etc. all before taking the leap to go back to school. Not everyone has the luxury of going back to college at 32.

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      • katie

        katie August 6, 2013, 11:45 am

        ” made sure she had a place to live” ….. could that perhaps include a significant other who doesnt mind you are in school and knows you cant contribute to the household as much a la the LW “So after we decided for him to move here I knew there would be some financial strain on the relationship”?

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom August 6, 2013, 11:58 am

        Going to school may have been part of the agreement when they decided he would move to live with her. If he had to quit a job and they knew he couldn’t get a comparable job where she lived they may have both felt that him going to school was the best thing that he could do and then she realized it was more of a burden than she anticipated.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay August 6, 2013, 1:57 pm

        I’m going back to school at 27, and there is no way in hell I would have gone if I couldn’t pay my tuition and all my expenses. I saved money, looked for an affordable program, and made sure I had opportunities to make money/get part of my tuition covered. I would have been willing to take out a little bit in loans, but there is no way at all I’d have done it if I couldn’t afford to pay my bills while doing it.

        Certainly going to school can get you a better job, but by not being restricted by a class schedule, it’s easier to get hired and you can work more hours.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 2:02 pm

        And that’s why I would say you’re a responsible adult, and why I think this man is not…not that you need me to tell you that 🙂

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay August 6, 2013, 3:04 pm

        Haha. Why, thank you. 🙂

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow August 6, 2013, 12:32 pm

        IT’S HARD. And I’m definitely not the portrait of financial stability right now. I feel like a giant loser for being a 31-year-old going back for a second Bachelor’s degree. I had a decent-paying job in Las Vegas, but then I moved to St. Louis where I did the same thing for less money (which I rationalized because it’s cheaper to live here), but it just wasn’t going anywhere. There was no room to advance, getting a Master’s wouldn’t help, and similar jobs in the area paid the same salary. Also, I got really burnt out. So I thought I’d build on what I know and love and get a degree that is a lot more useful. RNs typically don’t have trouble finding work. If I get my Master’s or DNP I can make good money. I can live pretty much anywhere, and if I get sick of one specialty, I can try another. These were my reasons behind doing what I did.

        Before I went back, I eliminated as many bills as I could, paid off my car, and moved into a cheaper place. I’m trying to find part-time work, but I haven’t even gotten an interview yet. My program is really intense, so I don’t want a work schedule that is too demanding, but I definitely could use the extra money.

        Honestly? If I had a partner that I thought I’d be spending the rest of my life with who (I thought) was willing to help out while I was finishing school, I can’t say I wouldn’t take him up on the offer. Of course, I’d still use loans and I do consider those to be fully my responsibility, and I’d pay what I could toward shared bills. I think the issue here is that they didn’t fully communicate their expectations… and that’s on both of them.

        Of course, I don’t have a kid and I’m only responsible for myself and my cats. However, I do kind of wonder if the reactions to this letter would be the same if the genders were reversed?

        One other thought… I’m assuming that the LW’s fiance was getting by on his own before he moved in with her. How was he doing it then? And why is it different now? Is it that her bills are more expensive and he just *can’t* equally contribute? OR did he turn moochy once he moved in because he thought he could get away with it? I need more answers before I can formulate an opinion.

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      • katie

        katie August 6, 2013, 12:37 pm

        i also wonder what would happen if the genders were reversed.

        and i assume that he lived with his mother. or, like you, he had a job and left it to pursue the degree. and maybe he moved where she was because thats where school was.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay August 6, 2013, 3:07 pm

        If the genders were reversed, this guy may not be complaining about it, which is the main difference, I think. But if he were, I hope we’d have the same advice.

        I think another thing is that though many single fathers have custody, so many mothers do, and that creates a whole different situation than someone whose child lives out of state.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark August 6, 2013, 3:51 pm

        If genders were reversed… A) the guy wouldn’t complain about it. And B) if he did he would be given hell for it. “She uprooted her life for you…” “She moved! She’s in school!” “Be glad her parents even chip in! why hold that against her…” “She has a kid to worry about…” “Blah blah blah.”

        Search your feelings — you know it to be true.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle August 6, 2013, 4:08 pm

        I think it would be a mix though, just like it is here. There would be SOME like, “poor thing, uprooted her life & is just trying to get through school!” annnd there would be some calling her a money-grubbing gold-digger who popped out a kid too early in life (& then abandoned it) So yeah, a mix. I generally think there’s always a good mix of comments, it’s never a million people straight up condemning anyone (IMO)

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ August 6, 2013, 4:42 pm

        I don’t know. Try this one on:

        “Dear Wendy, I an 35 and my girlfriend is 32. We have been together for 2 years, and we recently got engaged. She has a son who lives with his father in another state, and I have two children that live with us, and our children all get along very well. We have no problems there.

        We had been dating long distance, but last year, I asked her to move to my area and move in with me in the house that I own. My girlfriend is a later-in-life student, working toward a degree in the medical field, but she still has 18 months to go. I make significantly more money than she does, so, when I asked her to move in with me, it was with the understanding that I would bear the financial burden of our relationship until she graduated from school. However, this turned out to be a much bigger burden that I anticipated, and I asked her to get a job.

        Due to her school schedule, the hours she can work are limited, but after four months, she managed to find a job working 37 hours a week, earning $10 per hour that she can do while keeping up with her school schedule. However, even with the $370 per week she makes, she is still not able to solidly financially contribute, due to spending her money on other financial obligations, although when I gave her some bills to pay, she did pay them when she could.

        In addition to her school, study and work schedule, my GF also does all of the cooking, but not all of the cleaning, laundry and other household chores, so I end up having to do some of them, even though I work 50 hours a week. I am very resentful of the fact that she cannot contribute more financially and I have to pitch in doing household chores. I often don’t get home until after 7:00 p.m. and by that point, I just want to relax, not deal with the dishes.

        Despite all of this, I asked her to marry me recently, but, frankly, I am having second thoughts about her financial situation. I feel like she is just being a mooch and this isn’t the financial partner I wanted. What do you all think?”

        Do you guys really think that there we’d be telling this theoretical male LW he’s being used and calling the GF a lazy, deadbeat, irresponsible mooch who should be kicked out on her ass because she’ll never amount to anything? Or would there be a fairly significant number of posts decrying this theoretical LW as a jerk who should do his own goddamned dishes every now and then and try to appreciate that his GF is working nearly full-time, going to school to better herself and spending her money on her child and telling him to be more supportive of her, for fuck’s sake?

        Not saying that’s the right answer here – this is the theoretical LW’s letter – but I do think the responses to this letter would be different if the genders were reversed.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 4:48 pm

        haha, that’s a totally different letter though. you’ve taken out the obvious red flag of took her 4 months to get a job, promised to contribute once she had a job, did for a minute and then stopped and keeps all her money to herself.

        why not just reverse the genders in the actual letter?

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark August 6, 2013, 5:37 pm

        LBH, you ARE projecting. She never says that it took him four months to find a job. Just that he didn’t work for four months. Two very different things… And if I guy sent in this letter that Miss MJ composed, he’d get massively ripped a new one. That so many of you fail to see this makes me question your sanity.

        Men fucking support women ALL the time and nobody around here calls those women a sponge, a leech or a mooch. It seems many women want all the perks of being able to go out and be a fucking breadwinner, yet then they bitch and moan like whiney adolescents when they… GASP!… actually find themselves having to actually win the bread. It’s pathetic and absurdly selfish. That said. It’s not that surprising.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 5:41 pm

        haha, i do mark. any time i smell mooch on here i go off about it.

        and if i’m projecting, its because i had the same obstacles as he does and still managed to not mooch. i’d say the SAME thing to a woman.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ August 6, 2013, 5:42 pm

        @lbh (because I’m not sure where this will end up!) It does say 4 months to get a job, promised to contribute, and ultimately could not do so. It’s not a totally different letter, at all. I tried to be very careful to keep all facts as presented by the LW – not as morphed by the comments – and just switch the genders.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark August 6, 2013, 5:47 pm

        LBH, not every man out there is one of your sister’s loser ex boyfriends… And by the way, true winners… rarely pick losers. Just saying! 😉

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay August 6, 2013, 5:59 pm

        I think it depends on the letter, though. Wendy gets letters about essentially the same five situations, but they’re all slightly different, and that’s why they all get different advice.

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 11:44 am

        See, I kind of have mixed feelings on this. At first I wanted to be like, well he’s working full time AND going to school, clearly he’s trying. But, he has a kid, and I don’t really get how he could just up and move and quit a job or whatever, when he should theoretically be paying child support.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 11:47 am

        But without a degree, his child support might very well be crappy anyway. At least this way he’s making a move to improve the situation, which in turn should be better for his kid in the long run.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ August 6, 2013, 11:48 am

        Right. I really don’t understand the rush to condemn this guy. Telling the LW to MOA, sure, I get that; this isn’t the relationship she wants. But that doesn’t make this guy a bum. It just makes them incompatible.

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 11:51 am

        Yeah, true. Like I said, mixed feelings. And pretty much exactly what MissMJ said.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 12:09 pm

        So you’re saying him going into debt (presumably if he can’t even afford to pay rent – I’m guessing he’s taking out student loans) and not paying child support is the better option here – or the selfish option? Which one?

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 12:16 pm

        I think he is paying child support. I think that’s where his paycheck is going now. And we don’t know that he’s going into debt. He probably has financial aid and maybe some scholarships. But yes, as long as he’s paying his child support now, even if he is going into some debt in school, school could very well put him better off than he is now.

        He very well might be an irresponsible deadbeat dad/boyfriend who is mooching off of his gullible girlfriend and not supporting his son. He might be. But we don’t know his financial situation at all, or the reasons he made his decisions. All we have is information from an angry girlfriend who didn’t communicate her needs with him very well.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 12:20 pm

        By financial aid do you mean student loans? If he is going into debt for school how long will that take him to pay off? Ten years? So his kid has to wait 10+ years from the DATE OF GRADUATION to see any benefit from his dad’s little hobby – and that’s BEST case scenario. Lets be honest, college in this country is a joke and a bad financial investment. It’s all assembly line degrees that are a dime a dozen and there just aren’t that many skilled people needed to support the country.

        And yeah red flag number one – he chose to move in with his girlfriend instead of moving to help raise his son. What a winner.

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      • avatar

        MMcG August 6, 2013, 12:21 pm

        She communicated that she needed him to contribute to the household in someway… he agreed and then failed to live up to what HE AGREED TO by paying his share of the bills.

        Definition of DEADBEAT per Merriam-Webster
        1: loafer
        2: one who persistently fails to pay personal debts or expenses

        How is it wrong to describe this guy as what he is based on the information provided?

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark August 6, 2013, 12:24 pm

        Agreed. Some on here LOVE to jump the gun I think as — I dunno… they all had REALLY shitty boyfriends in the past? It’d be, gee… I dunno, insightful? Not to, you know, hang all the sins of of your own failings to pick men better on the boyfriends of the LWs — who often remain hilarious vague entities as most LWs can’t explain themselves for shit…

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 12:27 pm

        @IWTTS, I know you’re really bitter about your student loans, but it’s not like that for everyone. I have the lowest paying college degree out there, and even I’m reaping benefits from my degree that I wouldn’t have if I had just taken a factory job straight out of high school. My student loan payments are very low. College debt doesn’t negate any other benefits. That’s a pretty major assumption to make. And no, I don’t mean loans when I say financial aid. I mean free money kind of financial aid. In my first year of college, I went to one of the most expensive schools in the country. About 95% of my education there was completely free. It’s possible.

        Not disagreeing with you about moving away from his son.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle August 6, 2013, 12:28 pm

        Yeah, like rachel, I have mixed feelings about this. I like that the cycle of poverty was mentioned, because that’s a good point that made me think, hm, perhaps we ARE being harsh & presumptuous—BUT, personally, my opinion lines up more with LBH & iwanna’s (that school is a luxury, & he should’ve planned shit out better. ~Or~ if he wanted to rely on help from his mother, when he’s a father himself, then it’d be better not to become entangled romantically with anyone to the point where you’re getting engaged/moving. Of course, duh, the LW did not show good judgment here either, but I’ve said that multiple times now & am more just delving into the debate here, rather than commented on the original letter)

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 12:30 pm

        I’m actually not that bitter – I will probably be able to pay mine off in the next two years assuming I stay in the same salary range I’m in now – but I stand by my statement that it’s kind of a joke how little thought people put into going to college. They just go to go – with no idea or plan as to what type of job they want when they’re done. And based on this guys track record of an inability to plan or make responsible decisions – I just have a hunch he probably hasn’t spent too much time weighing the pros and cons.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 12:33 pm

        Well, that’s a big assumption you’re making. This is a perfect example of what someone (Fabelle?) said a while back: On DW, we take sociological trends and push them onto specific scenarios, and we take specific scenarios and turn them into debate about sociological trends.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 12:36 pm

        Okay then about this specific scenario – what exactly makes you believe he probably thought long and hard about his decision? Was it his proven irresponsibility when it comes to his child? Is it his inability to pay his own rent? Is it his inability to get his life together to go to college (since clearly that’s what he wanted to do) prior to 14 years after high school ended?

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 12:42 pm

        I’m not saying that is IS responsible. I’m saying that he could be responsible OR irresponsible. We don’t know why he made the decisions he made, and we don’t know what happened in the past 15 years. All we know is what his pissed off fiancée says about their current situation.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 12:43 pm

        Ha fine, I don’t want to fight about it anymore. Agree to disagree. 🙂 Can we talk about lunch yet? I’m starving.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 12:47 pm

        haha, Agreed. My only lunch options are: microwavable velveeta mac & cheese (gross), or to spend five bucks on a gross sandwich the Subway in the gas station down the road. Tiny towns suck at lunch time.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 12:52 pm

        *sandwich FROM the Subway. I can’t type.

        What are you having for lunch?

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle August 6, 2013, 12:53 pm

        Is it bad that microwaveable velveeta mac & cheese sounds great right now? Velveeta is so terrible, & yet so good.

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        MMcG August 6, 2013, 1:23 pm

        Velveeta is like it’s own crazy, unnatural food group. I have to keep it out of the house or I eat it in large blocks!

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      • katie

        katie August 6, 2013, 1:38 pm

        can i just brag for a second? im having left over ribs, which are drenched in jake’s home made BBQ sauce.

        id bathe in this sauce if i could, you guys. its so fucking delicious.

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      • Copa

        Copa August 6, 2013, 2:22 pm

        @Fabelle – I love Velveeta macaroni and cheese to the point that it’s problematic. Like, I could probably sit down and eat a family-sized box of it by myself. On a semi-related note, my company feeds us a lot and we have a kitchen/common room with LOTS of food — fruit, chocolate, chips, crackers, popcorn, etc. — and I about lost it when I saw that we have Easy Mac in the office right now.

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      • avatar

        j2 August 6, 2013, 11:12 am

        I agree with this! There are a LOT of questions (and LW should already know the answers) I would want to ask before judging here.

        How many hours/week are school/study? How well is he doing? He’s already working 37/week! Child support? It also might be worth knowing why he is not with the mother of his son. (For example, did she kick him out because he was a deadbeat Mommy’s boy?) Does his son have medical bills he’s helping with? What is LW’s relationship with his mother? What are her expectations? Does he have a father in the picture?

        The list goes on and on!

        As presented by LW, he sounds like a moocher/deadbeat. He could be video gaming or gambling online when she’s not looking, or maybe just vegging with the TV remote. OTOH, he could be working/studying his butt off and desperately trying to get across the degree finish line before drowning. We don’t know, but LW does.

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    • avatar

      Anna August 6, 2013, 4:06 pm

      Thanks, that’s exactly what I was thinking. She said he is in medical school and also works. He doesn’t sound like a deadbeat to me. He sounds like a struggling student, and if she wants someone who has more money she should MOA and let him find someone who will support his ambitions even though he won’t have a lot of money for another year and a half.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom August 6, 2013, 10:33 am

    The one thing no one has mentioned that I would consider is how well he is doing in school. Is he spending all of his free time studying and is he getting good grades that will lead to a much better job or is he not doing much with school and barely getting through.

    If he is doing really well you could tell him that you will postpone the engagement until he finishes school and that you will get engaged when he gets a good job and then be engaged for at least a year before getting married. It is easy enough to tell him that financial problems destroy marriages so you want to make sure your relationship is financially solid before getting engaged and married. Tell him that you realize that the two of you got engaged to quickly and that you are not ready for engagement or marriage. That puts marriage at least 2 1/2 years in the future. If he isn’t doing well then there is no point at all in waiting.

    If you are totally fed up then send him packing. There is no reason to stay in a relationship that you don’t think is working and you don’t think will work. If this relationship has no future why trap it in a marriage?

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  • avatar

    Turtledove August 6, 2013, 10:37 am

    You need to not be engaged and living together. I realize that this was the most unromantic thing ever, but I didn’t move in with my fiance until we’d had several long conversations about how we were going to manage finances, how we were going to manage paying for me to move halfway across the country to live with him, how we were going to divide up chores, and how we manage free time and time together. Your conversations should have been longer and more in depth because you both have children. You no longer have the luxury of taking things as they come. Once someone else’s life is solely dependent on you like that, you no longer have the luxury of accidentally moving in with a deadbeat.

    Don’t kid yourself that it’s not your daughters who are ultimately paying for your fiance’s laziness. They may like him, but I’m absolutely positive that they don’t like the fact that their mother is exhausted and when she makes it home after working long hours, she has to engage in an endless number of chores instead of spending time with them. Don’t let them believe for a second that this is normal or ok.

    He’s a single father who is in school. He actually probably qualifies for a good bit of financial help- grants, loans, scholarships. If he can’t get his stuff together enough to figure out what he qualifies for and apply for everything he possibly can so that he can reasonably support himself until he finishes, then he certainly can’t get his stuff together enough to be a good husband.

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  • avatar

    TECH August 6, 2013, 10:40 am

    LW, you just answered your own question. You say yourself that you made a mistake accepting his marriage proposal. You cannot marry a person hoping they will change. You have be completely 100% happy with who they are before you marry them.
    Ending an engagement will be much easier than ending a marriage.
    You and your children will get through this. Open yourself up to the possibility of having a much more healthy family. Breaking up is the only way to do that.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    MMcG August 6, 2013, 10:44 am

    “Our family life is almost perfect and we get along great for the most part.”

    = /does not equal/ =

    “We have had many fights and have broken up a few times over this.”

    FFS people… stop twisting yourselves into pretzels that do not make any sense trying to justify relationships that should not exist. People whose lives are almost perfect don’t break up repeatedly in a two-year relationship… especially when children are involved. To recap: A little over a year into your relationship you moved in together with no definite future plans, had to force a grown man and father (whose own child warrants barely a passing mention which might indicate what a winning parent he is) to get a job and he still only supports himself. Boot the loser who can’t be a good dad to your children while he’s still sucking his momma’s teet and focus on yourself and your girls for now. I can’t even imagine how this happens. Oh the humanity 😉

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    • avatar

      MMcG August 6, 2013, 10:56 am

      And to rub salt in this poor LWers wounds (sorry but you are 35 and should so know better)… every dollar you spend supporting a guy who repeatedly let’s you down and shows you he can’t be trusted to be a responsible 32 year old adult is a dollar that your daughters will never see again. Unless you have that much financial cushion that it makes no difference, giving this guy a free ride may result in your children not being able to enjoy something (camp, music lessons, etc.) in the future. There are 3 people that would be hitched to this guy, please get some space and distance and focus on yourself.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra August 6, 2013, 11:56 am

        Preach.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 12:11 pm

        “every dollar you spend supporting a guy who repeatedly let’s you down and shows you he can’t be trusted to be a responsible 32 year old adult is a dollar that your daughters will never see again”

        THANK YOU.

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  • bagge72

    Bagge72 August 6, 2013, 10:51 am

    You have been dating for several years with multiple break-ups and the same result everytime you get back together. I think it’s time to stop expecting so much, and do what’s best for you. It’s time to break off the engagement.

    Reply Link
    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom August 6, 2013, 11:51 am

      Since he lives with her breaking up probably means he sleeps on the couch instead of in her bed and then getting back together means that he moves back to the bed. The reality is that when they break up they probably don’t actually break up because he is still living with her.

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      • bagge72

        Bagge72 August 6, 2013, 12:59 pm

        True, which really sucks!

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  • avatar

    SL August 6, 2013, 10:55 am

    LW, I wouldn’t worry too much what your friends will think if you MOA. I’ve had several friends in your situation, and all the rest of us were desperately wishing, “Please don’t marry that deadbeat/abuser/cheater” etc. Once he’s gone, your friends may tell you how relieved they are you finally wised up and kicked him out.

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  • avatar

    starpattern August 6, 2013, 11:08 am

    Yeah, no. I mean, I get that some people struggle to get a career off the ground and don’t necessarily have everything worked out in their 20s. Really, I get it. But a grown adult with a child should be moving mountains to help provide for his family. Get a second job, put in more effort around the house, those are things a partner and parent should *want* to do, right?

    Look, people like this never change. If they are comfortable letting someone else provide for them even once they are fully grown and able to provide for themselves, they will always look for that. A recent example is my good friend’s ex. He was injured in a motorcycle accident and lost his job, so she let him stay in her house, paid for everything including his child support (!), cleaned up after him. He never contributed at all, said his disability income was going toward medical bills… and then he bought a $15k superbike and shipped it off to have a bunch of expensive mods done. His mom supports him when he is between girlfriends, and he’s still riding and maintaining that bike. Selfish.

    Move on, LW. Even if he is perfectly nice to be around, it sounds like he will never make a good partner or role model for your children.

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    • avatar

      starpattern August 6, 2013, 12:18 pm

      Ok, reading the rest of the comments, I feel a little bad for comparing this guy to my friend’s useless ex. Maybe he actually is trying to get his life in order by going back to school. Still, I think anyone who is 32 with a child should have a better plan than mooching off mom and girlfriend while he tries to better himself. I get that working a lot of hours while attending classes and studying is hard and stressful – it’s why I quit grad school – but at some point you have to suck it up and pull your weight. This guy just does not sound like he is doing that.

      The fact that he paid designated bills and helped out more for 2 months, but then immediately stopped when she accepted his proposal is such a huge red flag to me. I think (consciously or not) this guy wanted to “secure” the relationship so that she would not leave him when he began to slack off again.

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      • avatar

        MMcG August 6, 2013, 1:25 pm

        Your whole 2nd paragraph – couldn’t agree more.

        It’s like he moved in and thought he was taken care of, got called on it so he shaped up for a minor amount of time and then popped the question to get back to coasting. The timing is sooooo alarming.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:13 am

    One more thing to ask yourself, LW – Is he making your life easier? It sounds like he’s only making it harder. You already have 2 kids, a full time job and a house to maintain and pay for alone. Why would you want to tie yourself to another person who needs you to support them, who isn’t reliable and who only makes your life harder?

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark August 6, 2013, 11:18 am

    Eh, women pull this shit ALL the fucking time. And taking four months to find a job AFTER relocating isn’t that uncommon especially in THIS economy. I do think the guy is a piece of shit though for moving away from his son…

    That said… It amazes me how petty successful women can be. It simply astounds me. I mean hello… Its fucking HER house at this point. Its her fucking mortgage. Honestly, true gender equality means that sometimes the woman pays for everything. God knows men do it all the time simply as a matter of course with precious little bitching about it.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:24 am

      I definitely don’t think he should be paying her mortgage, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be able to support himself AND chip in on shared bills.

      I’m starting to wonder if this guy is smarter than we’re thinking and found a nice lady to pay his way and give him free room and board while he finished school.

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      • avatar

        A La Mode August 6, 2013, 2:17 pm

        It’s what my mother did… as well as most of her friends, through nursing school. Mostly their boyfriends were bankers. I think only one couple is still together despite all of the women treating those men like sugar daddies. It’s definitely still a “thing” that people do, though I’m not sure it requires smarts – just gullibility or a laissez-faire attitude on the part of the sugar mama/daddy.

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    • avatar

      MMcG August 6, 2013, 11:28 am

      You’re right it is her house… but he is also eating and using water and utilities and apparently has had conversations where he has agreed to chip in and then just failed at it. This isn’t about her ability to pay – it’s about his ability to take on any adult responsibilities and commitments and follow-through with them.

      I also agree, the son thing is a red flag. I can’t understand people who want a man or woman to be a parental figure in their kids lives when they are already not making the grade with their own kids.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 11:31 am

        Seriously, $150 worth of monthly bills is a steal! That’s basically a portion of my cable/internet bill a month. If he can’t chip in $150/mo, jesus.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark August 6, 2013, 11:43 am

        Moreover, any woman who insist that their new mate pretty much abandon his children in favor if hers is simply beyond something that rhymes with hunt, punt, and shunt…

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 11:45 am

        I agree that her kids shouldn’t be more important than his, but to me it sounds like HE made the decision to leave his son.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark August 6, 2013, 11:57 am

        Sure, he made the decision. But I wonder whose idea it was… Actually, scratch that. There is precious little to wonder about here.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 12:05 pm

        If Jesus Christ himself told me to abandon my child, I wouldn’t. No decent parent would. It doesn’t matter who told him to.

        (maybe using jesus as an example with you isn’t the wisest idea, haha, but you get my point)

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 12:09 pm

        Maybe Madonna would work? If Madonna told me to, I wouldn’t 🙂

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow August 6, 2013, 1:23 pm

        Did he leave his kid, though? Maybe he has primary custody. She said their families blend well and the kids get along. Maybe he lives close enough that he can stick to the original visiting schedule. Or did I miss something?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 1:25 pm

        LW said his son lives out of state.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow August 6, 2013, 1:34 pm

        Ha! I figured I was missing something.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 1:36 pm

        Honestly though, I guess its possible that he still sees his son for regular visits, just seems really unlikely.

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 1:36 pm

        Yeah, the 2 guys I know who each have a son that lives out of state…the mom moved the kid out of state after they divorced.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 1:40 pm

        Usually the non-custodial parent would have to agree to that, or the custodial one would have to have a good reason why the move was necessary. And even still, if my life were different and I only had visitation, I’m pretty sure I’d do everything I could to move close to my kid.

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 1:42 pm

        Yeah, that makes sense, I just think it’s another unknown here that everybody has their own assumptions about how it is working.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark August 6, 2013, 1:52 pm

        Eh, to me it reads that his son lives put of the state where he lives NOW… The kid got left behind, bittergaymark my word.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom August 6, 2013, 12:05 pm

        It should be a huge red flag when a parent is willing to make the decision to leave their own child. It shows that he has no real commitment to those who are dependent on him and that you assume he loves.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 12:07 pm

        Very true. Even if he only gets his son every other weekend for visitation, he should still be around for that.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow August 6, 2013, 1:38 pm

        It’s *possible* that “out of state” isn’t that far, though. My family lives a 1.5 – 2 hour drive away (in another state) and I could meet them for dinner every night if I really wanted to.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow August 6, 2013, 1:41 pm

        Hahaha but I’m just picking apart all the little details now because (a) I’m bored and (b) I missed DW!!

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 1:44 pm

        Haha, or, like my sister lives in Delaware, and can easily spend time in 3 states in one day.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom August 6, 2013, 12:03 pm

        I’d never get together with any many who was willing to leave their own child.

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      • avatar

        MMcG August 6, 2013, 12:24 pm

        There is no evidence to support the premise that she insisted upon anything… he’s probably been jumping from gf houses to mommy’s house to baby momma’s house and back again for a decade. Let’s not pull the evil demanding woman card here 😉

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      • avatar

        Sarah August 11, 2013, 12:27 pm

        Just to clarify your nasty comments his son already lived 16 hours away from him when he moved in with me. And he doesn’t pay his child support which I have BEGGED him to from the moment I found out he never really has. Which was after he already moved in with me And 3 months down the road of living together. I would never be a selfish person and ask someone to give up their child to be with me in another city. My two girls are my life who both have absent fathers.

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    • avatar

      Jodee August 6, 2013, 11:43 am

      Ah, Bittergaymark, but you’re missing one major item: women do the majority of housework in ALL relationships. That being the case, they are essentially domestic workers in those marriages/relationships. You can argue fair compensation for that into eternity, but this guy isn’t even doing that – cooking on occasion doesn’t make up for the woman working a 50 hour week and then having to come home to a dirty house and clean dishes for everyone and make food for the kids/make sure they’re taken care of/do laundry/etc. We’ve all seen/hears stories of women – who work even fewer hours – being overwhelmed by housework ’cause the guy won’t chip in.

      When I’ve been unemployed and on unemployment, I’ve 1) set aside enough to pay rent while I freelance in other jobs that supplement income til I can find something better – this guy could make more bartending or as a cater waiter – and 2) work around the house to keep it clean for my partner. He could easily do laundry while studying. It’s not all about money here – it’s about contributing equally, and he’s not doing that on any level.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark August 6, 2013, 11:45 am

        And he fucking does most of the cooking here. Hey, my pad is a spotless museum and yet even I spend wayyyyyy more time cooking each week rather than cleaning…

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 11:49 am

        Women do NOT do the majority of housework in ALL relationships. That’s just bullshit.

        And if he’s working 37 hours and going to school, he is clearly working more than her 50 hours.

        I think he may be dumb/irresponsible when it comes to planning financially, but I really doubt that he’s the lazy asshole you’re trying to make him out to be.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark August 6, 2013, 11:54 am

        Most women do, however, CLAIM to do so… Though recent studies have FAILED to back those inflated opinions…

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 11:58 am

        Well, I won’t speak for those women. I suck at cleaning, my fiance totally does a lot of it.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 12:17 pm

        Read this article about the shift. The wage gap between women and men is shrinking – and the majority of housework still rests on the woman’s shoulders. Rachel you just won the fiance lottery. Most aren’t so lucky.

        http://www.xojane.com/issues/european-women-who-work-full-time-also-do-most-of-the-housework

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 12:22 pm

        Well, I wasn’t trying to get into that debate, I know the numbers are still skewed. I just thought it was absurdly generalizing for Jodee to say ALL.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 12:23 pm

        In my tiny world, most of the women are the ones doing the housework/cooking/laundry. I’m luckily not one of those, but pretty much every couple I just thought of off the top of my head? Yup, the woman does it.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 12:23 pm

        Well a generalization is just that – speaking generally about trends and stats. And it is true that generally women do more housework regardless of how much they’re financially contributing. But yes she should have removed the ALL.

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 12:58 pm

        For sure, the word ALL just irked me for some reason. We’re all a bit argumentative today I think. This is what happens when we go into DW withdrawal.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark August 6, 2013, 12:28 pm

        Eh, I still think the reason that women do most of the housework is they have absurdly high standard and want everything to be super clean… (Like me!) Many straight men simply couldn’t care less.

        That said, own up to it. It’s your own fucking standards that make you clean all the time. Nobody is holding a gun to my head about it. And I fucking NEVER complain about having to keep house.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 12:34 pm

        Why are you assuming she has ridiculously high standards? What about her letter made you think that? I’m surprised you think she should just lower her standards of cleanliness. Maybe he can just raise his standards for the quality of life he accepts of himself.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 12:40 pm

        For real. Also, for a lot of couples, the man’s standard of cleanliness is lower than basic health standards. It’s not a woman’s fault if she doesn’t want to live in filth.

        I could agree with BGM if most of the extra hours of housework were spent doing things like repeatedly washing the walls, but in most two-income households, those hours are spent on cooking, cleaning dishes, washing clothes, scrubbing the toilet once every week or two, and maybe vacuuming. It’s not like most of these houses are spotless and the women are slaving away trying to make them shine brighter. It’s basic stuff for day to day functioning that people seem to struggle with.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 12:42 pm

        RIGHT. I consider that stuff the absolute minimum and it takes me at least an average of an hour a day. Shit laundry alone is about 3 hours a week. Cooking is at least 30 minutes a day.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 12:51 pm

        At the very least. And I think what happens a lot is that the woman cooks (because where I live, men who know how to cook are rare), and the man is “supposed” to do the dishes. He thinks it’s okay for the dishes to pile up all week, and she doesn’t, so she ends up washing the dishes AND cooking, and those are the two most time consuming daily tasks. So yes, maybe her standards are higher than his, but his are unreasonably low. Hers aren’t too high.

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 12:57 pm

        Haha, you just described the exact opposite of what happens in my household. It’s a good thing I found Ross.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow August 6, 2013, 1:04 pm

        @rachel, I need me a Ross. You hit the jackpot!

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      • Copa

        Copa August 6, 2013, 2:15 pm

        Hmm. I’m always the messier one in my relationships.

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      • avatar

        bethany August 6, 2013, 2:05 pm

        I’m with you. My husband literally cannot see dirt. It’s quite annoying.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark August 6, 2013, 12:18 pm

        Seriously… School full time AND working 37 hours??? And then somehow doing “most” of the cooking? (The LW’s words, not mine…) Honestly, that lack of insight on here today reaches a new low. It’s not as if she said he never fucking leaves the couch… Then most of the reactions here today WOULD be warranted.

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      • avatar

        AmyP August 6, 2013, 12:41 pm

        “And if he’s working 37 hours and going to school, he is clearly working more than her 50 hours.”

        Depends on what “going to school” means in his case. It could mean more or less nothing, or it could be the equivalent of a full-time job.

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 12:46 pm

        She said he’ll be done with his program in 18 months – that means he’s actively involved in some sort of degree program, and in the medical field somehow. Even if he’s going part time, a few credit hours a week, that’s over 13 hours of his time.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow August 6, 2013, 1:08 pm

        When I worked full-time and went to community college part-time (just for prereqs! Not a degree!), I barely had time to do ANYthing.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl August 6, 2013, 2:52 pm

        My husband wouldn’t know how to clean even if I left him detailed video instructions on how to do it. He can let dishes sit, clothes pile up on the floor, and I don’t remember the last time he changed the sheets without my asking him to do so.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom August 6, 2013, 12:11 pm

        I know several men who are doing the majority of housework and cooking. They lost their jobs and at the age of 55 and 60 they can’t find jobs so their wives are working and they are doing the housework, cooking and maintaining the yards. The wives come home to clean houses, mowed lawns and a hot dinner ready to go on the table. A third couple has the husband doing all of the cooking and taking care of the kids after school while the wife gets the kids off to school.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra August 6, 2013, 11:27 am

    Ugh.

    One very important lesson that I’ve learned in the past year is that love isn’t enough to sustain a relationship. It’s an important part, yes, but it’s not enough. You need to be on the same page, ESPECIALLY financially. If you don’t, you’re just asking for problems. Money is one of the main causes of divorce. This guy does not have his act together and he is using you as a free ride which sucks so so much and you deserve much better than what he has to offer. By 32, and especially as a father, he should know how to support himself.

    As an example I have a friend whose boyfriend was mooching off of her for a few months. He was unemployed for about a month and they had moved in together so he didn’t pay his share of the rent for that time, but then he got a job and didn’t pay the month after, or the month after that…you get the picture. He was also earning more money than she was when he got his new job. He also owns a house but was renting that out too so he was basically living rent free. Not to mention his dogs were ruining all of her stuff — carpets, clothing, etc. — and wasn’t going to pay to replace any of it. After 3 months of no rent, she kicked him out and broke up with him. She told me she would rather be single and happy than supporting a man child like that.

    Think about what is best for your family. This is already causing a strain on your relationship and your family. Marriage doesn’t solve problems, in fact it more often than not magnifies them. Be honest with yourself, is it fair to your children for you to marry this man? He isn’t going to change just because he marries you.

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  • theattack

    theattack August 6, 2013, 11:31 am

    There’s not enough information here for me to form an opinion. You honestly should have expected to be paying more of the expenses if he moved to you without having a job AND he’s in school. I want to know more about where his paychecks are going now and about the communication surrounding both of your contributions. Either postpone getting married until you can demonstrate for a long time that you’ve worked it out or break up altogether.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow August 6, 2013, 1:18 pm

      Yeah, this letter leaves me with so many questions! Why is he in school? Why now? What degree is he going for? How is he paying for it? How was he supporting himself before he moved in with LW? How easily can he find a job with his degree, and how much will it pay? What did they discuss before moving in?

      But the bottom line is, if she’s not happy, if he’s not meeting her expectations, and if they can’t agree on how to handle finances, then it’s best to just end it.

      Reply Link
      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 1:59 pm

        Exactly. I’m not going to assume anything from this letter, because it could go so many different ways. I’m patiently awaiting an update in the comments from the LW.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom August 6, 2013, 11:49 am

    I think you need to take a long hard look at yourself and how you handle relationships. How did you end up in this situation? You obviously don’t communicate well and need to learn how to do that or you’ll never have a good relationship with any man. You need to learn how to bring up the difficult topics and work them out before living together. At the age of 34 you moved a man you couldn’t have known well, only knew him long distance for a year, into your home with your daughters. Ask yourself why that seemed like a good idea. What red flags were you ignoring? Why? Why do you break up and then get back together again? Why did that seem like a good idea? Why get engaged to a man you keep breaking up with? In many ways you sound like you’re emotionally much younger than your actual age. We usually end up in relationships with someone who is at our own level in many ways so look at yourself and see where the two of you match and also where you don’t match. If he is immature where are you also immature. If he supports his son financially that is great but if he doesn’t why do you think he would support your daughters? I’d personally be unwilling to date any guy who was willing to leave their own child behind. That is a huge red flag in my mind. If he doesn’t prioritize his own dependent child then why would you or your daughters be a priority to him? Ask yourself why it seemed like a good idea to have him move to you and live with you. You are only in this situation because you’ve put yourself in this situation. You’ve based decisions on assumptions rather than facts. You’ve done a poor job of working out finances and financial expectations.

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    • avatar

      MMcG August 6, 2013, 12:26 pm

      Wonderful constructive points… I hope the LW reads through those questions.
      Meanwhile, I’m left with nothing but unconstructive snark at this point and it’s barely lunchtime!

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  • Tracey

    Tracey August 6, 2013, 12:01 pm

    Dear LW, Are you a fan of Greek mythology? If you are, then you no doubt have heard the tale of Sisyphus. If you haven’t, bear with me – I’ll make this brief.

    According to the Wikipedia page on this myth, Sisyphus was the son of a king who promoted commerce and navigation. When he became king, he became deceitful, greedy, and conniving. Long story short, his bad behavior eventually led to him capturing the personification of Death, and this meant no one could die until Sisyphus was forced to release Death by the gods. He was then punished for his ongoing selfishness and bad behavior by the gods, condemned to roll a huge boulder up a steep hill that was destined never to reach the top – it would always roll back down before he finished the job and he’d have to start over. Forever. This eternity of useless effort and frustration drove Sisyphus mad, and there was nothing he could do about it.

    Now I’m not saying your fiance is avaricious and conniving, but he has been a source of unending frustration for you. Do you really want to spend the rest of your days pushing him to be more self sufficient and financially responsible toward you and your relationship? Especially after he’s shown himself to be unwilling to do so? Let this stone roll away from you, and find new hills to climb and valleys to explore without any impediments.

    MOA.

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    • avatar

      MMcG August 6, 2013, 12:26 pm

      Greek mythology for the win!!!

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow August 6, 2013, 1:10 pm

      Teehee. Sounds like “syphilis.”

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Bunnycsp August 6, 2013, 12:44 pm

    I have a legit question here about Divorce, kids, and dating. So when people remarry/move in together, how much is the new spouse responsible for the costs of stepkids? Like, if you are going to split bills 50/50, does that include child support, educations, back to school clothes? Or if you have a mortgage like this example, does the woman with two kids pay 3/4 of the mortgage because her two kids count? what about big expenses later on like college and weddings? I am just curious how people view this.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 12:52 pm

      Oh I’m curious too. Chime in people! For the record, I currently pay for 100% of Sampson’s day care and upkeep. (Don’t worry guys – I don’t take myself seriously – don’t feel like you have too)

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      • avatar

        rachel August 6, 2013, 12:56 pm

        Hm, I pay 100% of Toby’s and Kydoimos’ food, toys, standard vet stuff. But Ross paid a lot of it when each of them got sick recently because he has more savings / is better with money. He’s a good step-parent.

        Yes, don’t take me seriously either.

        Also curious how this works.

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    • katie

      katie August 6, 2013, 1:08 pm

      It probably varies. A guy I work with views it as a “whole family” situation, so I’m sure they go more 50/50. I’m sure other people do “your kids, your expense” similar to “your friends wedding, your expense”

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      lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 1:10 pm

      I’m not married, but we only split the shared bills 50/50. I pay all Lil’s expenses 100%.

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        Bunnycsp August 6, 2013, 1:20 pm

        So like rent 50/50 but back to school clothes are all you? what about utilities and food?

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        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 1:24 pm

        Yup, exactly. We split house costs, including utilities, food, etc. Anything we share or both benefit from is split 50/50. Her school tuition, clothes, etc. I pay for solely.

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      • theattack

        theattack August 6, 2013, 1:28 pm

        How do you deal with things that everyone uses, like groceries? Obviously Lil eats some of the groceries. Do you cover more of the groceries to cover her cost, or does he contribute to her food too?

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        lets_be_honest August 6, 2013, 1:31 pm

        Well neither of us have time to itemize the grocery list, haha, or care to do that. Whoever is at the grocery store buys enough to stock the house. It evens out I guess, but I’m not presenting him with the grocery bill saying you owe me 50% of this. Sorry, I’m realizing I wasn’t super clear. Real, tangible bills we split 50/50, the other things, like groceries, just even out over time. We don’t keep track of that.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 6, 2013, 4:20 pm

        I bought Colin a fishing book, a pool lounger, and a floating cooler last week. I contribute all this awesome to this relationship. I can’t imagine being in a tic for tac relationship. I know we’ve talked about it again, and it’s getting repetitive at this point, but I am so fascinated by all the different philosophies about money (and no, I am absolutely not saying my philosophy is right).

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      thatgirl August 6, 2013, 2:03 pm

      We have done both. Initially, all funds went together, but our incomes are very different, and there was some resentment about how money was being spent. Eventually, we have gone to separate accounts, with me paying all the bills, and us deciding how much of his income goes to me and how much he keeps for his spending pleasure…and I don’t want to know where his money goes…it makes me crazy

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        Bunnycsp August 6, 2013, 4:12 pm

        see, this is what I was thinking about today. Like I can imagine a parent resenting their partner for spending money on stupid stuff while the kids need xyz. I can also see a partner feeling like they are paying for things that the ex should be paying for. I bet this gets really sticky.

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      honeybeenicki August 6, 2013, 5:14 pm

      My husband pays all of his child support (it is taken out of his checks), but we split everything else including things for the kids. Actually, I usually end up paying more (even for kid stuff) because a) I make more and b) his child support cuts his take home wages by quite a bit. But they’re my kids too so I’m ok with it. I mean, I didn’t give birth to them, but i’ve been in their lives for 7 years and love them like my own so I’m not going to go all nit-picky on paying for stuff for them. And I pay for their health insurance.

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    Beckaleigh August 6, 2013, 1:10 pm

    Did he leave his son to move to be with you or was the son already living in a different area than the boyfriend? I couldn’t respect any man that would leave his child (whether he was with the mother or not), a job, and school to move to be with a woman and HER children. What kind of dad does that? Also, LW, why would you allow this man to move in with you and your children? How often were you seeing each other while things were long-distance? How well did you really know him before allowing him into your kids’ lives? If you continue to allow this man to live with you, you are only hurting your children – with the constant fighting, and poor example you are setting by showing them that this type of relationship is acceptable.

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      rachel August 6, 2013, 1:25 pm

      Yes, this was another question I had – everyone assumes he moved away from his son, but the LW only says the son is out of state, he could be in a different state entirely from where the guy moved from. Again, more questions!

      And yes to your last points.

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    thatgirl August 6, 2013, 1:56 pm

    I can totally relate to where LW is coming from on this. Money is such a personal thing, and there has to be many upon many conversations about how it is spent, saved and distributed. It is completely possible that, as in my marriage, LW is the money manager…good with funds, good with budgets, and her fiance is good with spending it…frivolously!! This isn’t always evident right away, because there ARE discussions about bills, and who pays what when, but it just never seems to always work out the way the LW would like, or how they initially agreed. What I will say is that resentment you feel….it isn’t going away unless some major changes are made. “one more chance” is NOT going to change his spending habits. Some financial counseling might, going without might, not having someone there to make sure his phone is paid for and he doesn’t have to take the bus might, but until one or more of those things happen, this is what you have. You might not have known that going in, but you know it now. Either set guidelines and stick to them, or get out now before you are resenting yourself for staying so long.

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    Anna August 6, 2013, 4:16 pm

    You guys were way too hard on this guy. He is in school presumably full time and also works. You really think he has time for a second job? He probably barely has time to sleep and eat right now. When he’s done with school in a year and a half, then it will be appropriate to expect him to bring in more money and pay more bills. When I was in college and working full time, I slept about 3 hours a night and never had money for anything. I thought of myself as a struggling student, not a lazy deadbeat. I struggled to afford rent, heat, food and everything else. It’s so nice to know that if my boyfriend at the time had written in about my financial situation, he would have been advised to kick me out into the streets and let me starve/freeze to death.

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      Sara August 6, 2013, 5:28 pm

      Even going to school part-time while working 37 hours a week can be exhausting. I am also curious about his program…many medical tech programs require an 8-5 schedule of classes and labs.

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      oldie August 6, 2013, 7:41 pm

      He’s 32 and already has a kid. That is a stage of life when he shouldn’t expect his gf and his mommy to be supporting him. You are way over-personalizing this, unless you were a 32-year old parent while you were in school. This guy does seem like a mooch and, frankly, no guarantee he stays with LW once he has his degree and gets a good job. There is a real risk in paying for some guy’s extended childhood.

      Really, if the guy has another year and a half left in school, why the rush to get married while he is still a student? Why marry before finding out if this guy can actually get and keep a decent job and whether or not he shares his money and the housework if he does? Marrying quickly puts all the risk on the LW. Was this proposal just a scam to appease her and get her off his back about his lack of responsibility for his life.

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    BreezyAM August 6, 2013, 5:04 pm

    what the fuck is wrong with ALL of you including Wendy? He’s no deadbeat; he’s in school! Da hell?! You seriously expected him to make more than a student salary?! All of you are completely inappropriate and unreasonable. Want a salaryman, marry someone done with school and employed wtf did you expect his student salary to be?!

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    • landygirl

      landygirl August 6, 2013, 5:09 pm

      He is an adult, not a teenager. He doesn’t contribute to the general household, he only pays for himself. Lots of people go to school and work full time to support themselves. Sorry but when your Mom or your fiance is paying all of your bills, then there is something wrong with you.

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay August 6, 2013, 6:02 pm

      Simply being in school doesn’t make you a responsible person. Going to school if it means you can’t afford a place to live or your bills is a problem.

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay August 6, 2013, 6:11 pm

    I have to post again in response to everyone who is upset by how people are talking about the boyfriend. It doesn’t really matter if we think he’s a deadbeat or not. The point is that the LW is not OK with how they are splitting finances and there doesn’t appear to be any change in sight. Whether or not he’s doing everything he can, he’s going to be in the program for 18 more months, so it’s not going to get better.

    No one is suggesting he be left in the streets to die. But she can’t be expected to stay with him simply because he needs the financial support. If she prefers a partner who can contribute to the household, then that’s her right, and it’s not an unreasonable request.

    I think it’s odd that nobody thinks it’s a problem that she’s spending so much extra money when she’s got kids to support. Financial stability is a big concern for single parents, and I think that it’s even more valid for someone in that situation to not want to fully support their partner. It doesn’t make them a bad person or mean their partner is a deadbeat, but they’re just in different points in life.

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    Sarah August 11, 2013, 12:54 pm

    So just to clarify a few things on the letter I wrote….

    1. We did talk before he moved here. He said he would find a job once he moved and he was “suppose” to be looking before actually moving. He already has a degree in Culinary Arts from a top school in Vermont that his parents paid about $50,000 for. So when he moved here from a smaller town to a much larger town I thought with his restaurant experience and a degree he would have no problems finding a job.
    2. His child already lived 16 hours away from him when he moved here and has lived that far for about 5 years now. His son is 11 my girls are 7 and 13. And no he does not pay child support even though he is suppose to. I did not find that out among other things until after we moved in together. He always assured me he did pay.
    3. His school is paid for 100% through grants. He is not going into debt for school and has no school debt. He has no bills… No car payment, no credit cards, and so on. He pays his car insurance and that’s pretty much it. After we moved in together I found out his mom still supports him financially.
    4. I am a single mom who gets NO money in child support. I am the sole provider for my children and always have been. I have been at my current job for 8 years and I have been very successful with my company. Which I am very thankful for.

    When he moved in I never expected 50/50 bill sharing butI did expect something! I am a reasonable person and understanding. I am happy he wants to better himself with school he is going to become a paramedic. I just feel line I have all these responsibilities the house bills and so on and he has nothing but school really. He makes about $1100 a month and pays for NOTHING. All I am asking is pay a $30 water Bill, a $50 garbage bill… I am just asking for EFFORT!!

    Like I said I make a lot more money them him.. by no means am I rich or wealthy but I manage my money well and able to take my kids on vacations and allow them to participate in extra things.

    I have laid it out for him multiple times. The things I need in a relationship. I need to have partnership whether its money or parenting whatever I need us to do it together. I have been married before so I don’t want to go through another divorce. I have always just wanted the girls to grow up with a mom and dad in the house who both love them whether they are step parents or not. Having a family is one of the most important things to me.

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      rachel August 11, 2013, 2:37 pm

      Wow, it’s interesting that some assumptions were too harsh and some not harsh enough. Honestly, Sarah, I don’t even know how you can respect a man who doesn’t pay child support. He is never going to be any sort of equal partner to you if he can’t even take care of his own child. I think you need to send him back to his mommy.

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        Sarah August 11, 2013, 3:31 pm

        I don’t respect him in the aspect of his child that is another one of our major fights the fact that he does not support his son in any manner and doesn’t seemed to be bothered by it. I love his son dearly, he is an amazing child. Well behaved and very wellmannered. I live in a 4 bedroom house so after we moved in together i converted the downstairs room tio his room. Went out bought new bedding he wanted, pictures of his family, and things on the wall. I wanted him to have his own space while he was here and I wanted him to feel like he was a part of our family whether he lived here or not. I just feel like I have given some much of myself to this relationship and our family and get nothing in return. On my daughters birthday he didn’t even get her a card. Just spend .99 and show you at least you care. Just some kind if thoughtful effort would be amazing! I feel like he just takes and takes and takes. Not sure how much more I have to give.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed August 11, 2013, 4:50 pm

        So stop. Kick him out. You are being a doormat. Stand up and send him back to his mother like Rachel suggested. If you acknowledge that this is a problem and that you can’t deal with it, but you’re not actively doing anything about it, then you deserve to be in this position.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson August 12, 2013, 4:44 pm

        You are the perfect example of a woman who has a vision for her future and is putting whatever guy into the roll she sees as partner. You have to find a guy first and then live out your dream of having a family. You can’t have the dream without the guy. I hope I don’t come off as insulting, because you’re not the first and you won’t be the last, but if you want a family and partnership you’re with the wrong guy.

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      lets_be_honest August 12, 2013, 4:35 pm

      Wow. You are doing your children no favors by letting them see you get walked all over and completely taken advantage by a HORRIBLE father. He doesn’t pay child support and after you built a room for HIS son, he couldn’t even care enough about you or your daughter to give her a card?! Wake up LW. Wake up and get him the fuck out of your house yesterday.
      I get wishing you could give your daughters a “normal family” with a mom and dad, but they would fare much, much better by having you as someone to look up to and seeing you do it alone without a total loser.

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    Sarah August 11, 2013, 3:36 pm

    I don’t respect him in the aspect of his child that is another one of our major fights the fact that he does not support his son in any manner and doesn’t seemed to be bothered by it. I love his son dearly, he is an amazing child. Well behaved and very wellmannered. I live in a 4 bedroom house so after we moved in together i converted the downstairs room tio his room. Went out bought new bedding he wanted, pictures of his family, and things on the wall. I wanted him to have his own space while he was here and I wanted him to feel like he was a part of our family whether he lived here or not. I just feel like I have given some much of myself to this relationship and our family and get nothing in return. On my daughters birthday he didn’t even get her a card. Just spend .99 and show you at least you care. Just some kind if thoughtful effort would be amazing! I feel like he just takes and takes and takes. Not sure how much more I have to give.

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    Jak Black August 12, 2013, 4:20 pm

    People, people. I do not understand why you’re all getting so exasperated with this LW.

    It’s not that she’s in love with him despite the fact that he’s a loser. It’s because he’s a loser that she’s in love with him. If he was a regular, boring nice guy, a hard worker but perhaps not the alpha loser that gets her hot and bothered, she wouldn’t give him the time of day.

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    Men August 12, 2013, 4:25 pm

    Speaking as a guy here but,

    I have several guy friends in the exact same situation. They work their tails off to make money and support the family, while the girlfriend / wife : a) Does not work, b) hires a nanny to take care of the kids, c) spends money on herself and doesn’t save. Some cases are quite extreme. (Thankfully I am married to the most wonderful and helpful wife and mother)

    The only issue here is the man’s and woman’s roles are reversed. Here the woman works and the man stays at home, cooks some but that’s it.

    Congratulations!!! You have succeeded in achieving equality between the sexes!! Wait what? It’s not all roses, being in the traditional man’s role does not make you feel on top of the world. Welcome to the club, congratulations on the equality, now back to that daily grind.

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    • avatar

      jim August 12, 2013, 4:31 pm

      Oops, I just posted the exact same thought below. You articulated it better than I did.

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    jim August 12, 2013, 4:30 pm

    As an aside: But the genders were reversed, everything else being the same, this would be considered a traditional relationship. Why shouldn’t a woman be considered a “deadbeat”?

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    Keep Dreaming On August 12, 2013, 4:39 pm

    I can’t even believe you are taking so long to toss this guy out! The first issue is that you are even living with another man while you have two little girls in your house. The second is that you are supporting a loser. Third is that you don’t have any self-respect or you wouldn’t allow this guy to do this to you and your daughters. Why should he have one cent of your hard-earned money? That money should be going into an account for you and your daughters, not helping to support a lazy loser. It doesn’t matter how wonderful the kids are, how well they get along, how well-mannered they all are. What MATTERS is that he is a man of weak character who doesn’t take care of his obligations – child support for his son – and is breaking the law and is mooching off of you. Dump the freeloader now. Why are you holding on to him? For comfort? To say you have a boyfriend? A pseudo-father for your kids? He can’t even be a man and a father to his own son. The sex? To not be lonely? Face the hard, cold facts that he is a weak-willed, selfish house pimp and you should not be his prostitute. Get him OUT.

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    Wilma Nelson August 12, 2013, 5:00 pm

    Don’t be too judgmental. He will probably change and become responsible after the wedding. My guy did and it worked out swell. Don’t let mere money stand in the way.

    P.S. His Mom can help financially if you guys are in a pinch.

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    • avatar

      Ken in NH August 12, 2013, 6:08 pm

      What horrible advice. “Hey, buy this used car. It may put out smoke and have bad brakes, but once *you* start driving it, it will change for the better.”

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    Ken in NH August 12, 2013, 6:02 pm

    Sorry Sarah, but you are already married to him, just not in an official capacity. Having moved in together is what put you into this situation where you are concerned how your children (and others) will perceive you for breaking off the engagement. Now they will legitimately wonder why you would voluntarily live with the man, but you cannot commit to making the relationship official.

    The only way to correct the situation is to pull the band-aid off fast. It will be painful and embarrassing, but you and your children will be better off for kicking him out and calling off the engagement. After that you really should re-examine your priorities. Your children should come first until they are adults or nearly adults. And when I say they should come first, I don’t mean you should be concerned about how they perceive you which seems to be your first concern here.

    Any man that you would consider being a father to your children should be able to care for you and your children financially and otherwise. Not because I doubt that you can do it, but because the point of having a spouse is that they can help you or take over for you if you are unable. In other words, would you feel comfortable with this man’s ability to raise your children if you were to suddenly become incapacitated or die? To prove this, he must first be a good role model for your daughters by being a gentleman and not moving in with you without a marital commitment. He should also be able to show you his finances; where every dollar comes from and where every dollar is spent, saved, or invested. You should have shared values, especially when it comes to raising children. That does not mean that you have to agree completely on every aspect, but that you are close enough to agreeing that either of you being a little flexible in a particular area will not compromise your beliefs.

    This will take time to establish, so take time in your courtship. Date for a year or so and get to know his friends and family well. If you get to know them well, you will likely discover any disqualifying aspects especially if you give it time. (For example, had you gotten to know your current live-in’s mother well and over time, I’m certain that she would have spilled the beans either intentionally or inadvertently before the two of you had moved in together.)

    (BTW, all of these things apply in reverse as well. Any man that would marry you should consider your financial ability, your ability to raise his children, your reputation, your ability to restrain your physical impulses, etc.)

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    jdr3366 August 12, 2013, 7:00 pm

    It’s difficult to sympathize with you. You let a loafer into your life. You know it. He knows it. Stop thinking below the belt and start thinking above the belt. This is your responsibility. It’s not his fault. He will not change. Throw the bum out, NOW.

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    Wilma Nelson August 12, 2013, 7:09 pm

    Sarah, please don’t listen to Ken in NH. His advice is the roadmap to spinsterhood. While you are taking all of his puffed up advice your clock is running and you are not getting any more attractive or “marketable”. What if you cross the Rubicon? Grab the gusto while you can. Despite what Ken says this guy should work out OK, maybe not perfect, but OK. Who among us is perfect anyway? Take a good look at yourself in a full length mirror- front and bask- and tell me Ken isn’t misleading you.

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    Wilma Nelson August 12, 2013, 7:13 pm

    Oops! I’m so embarrassed.

    Sorry, I misread Ken’s advice. Ken’s right…run from this guy. He’s a bum. A life of loneliness is a small price to pay to get free of him. You can always get a cat.

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    Bill C August 12, 2013, 7:34 pm

    So he works 37 hours a week and goes to school, yes? That doesn’t sound like a deadbeat to me. $1100/month is not a lot but he might pay you some rent. Does he buy frivolous things? Is he financially irresponsible?

    Maybe he is bad with money, so offer to take over the finances and give him an allowance. My wife and I have a similar arrangement because if she kept her salary it would be spent at T.J. Maxx within a week and we would be starving.

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    Sarah August 15, 2013, 10:03 am

    Wow some peoples comments are so harsh!! First of all I did not fall in love with him because he was a loser. I fell in love with some one who I thought worked a job, paid child support, while going to school to better himself. Some one who I “thought” had motivation, aspersions, and goals in life. Little did I know that it was just a facade. I am sure I am not the only one who has made mistakes and fell in love with the wrong person. Much easier to say what you would do until you are in that situation.

    And thank you Ken for your advice! So far you are the only one on here that really makes sense to me!

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